Logo for the Journal of Rehab R and D

Volume 46 Number 3, 2009
   Pages 395 — 404

Abstract – A new option for amputees: Transplantation of the hand

Christina L. Kaufman, PhD;* Brenda Blair, RN; Erin Murphy, BA; Warren B. Breidenbach, MD

Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery, Kleinert, Kutz and Associates, Louisville, KY

Abstract — The permanent loss of a hand or limb results in significant challenges. A number of options are available to individuals who must deal with this loss, including reconstructive surgery using a person's own tissue to repair the damage or the use of prosthetic devices. We present an update on the most recent addition to the list of options, namely, composite tissue allotransplantation (CTA). In this procedure, tissue to repair the loss is taken from deceased donors who are giving hearts, kidneys, and tissue for transplantation. We report on the world's longest follow-up of CTA of the hand, as well as four other American hand transplant recipients. In very select patient populations, we propose that transplantation is now a clinical option for amputees.

Key words: amputation, amputee, composite tissue allotransplantation, CTA, function, hand, hand function, therapy, transplant, transplantation.

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